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The NHS sums do not add up

Issue No. 1688

The NHS sums do not add up

THE GOVERNMENT claims it is pumping �21 billion into the NHS over the next three years. The real figure is less than half that. The government plans an increase of �3.8 billion this year, �3.2 billion the next and �3.3 billion the following year. That adds up to �10.3 billion. Meanwhile:

  • Hospital waiting lists grew by more than 10,000 in January.
  • Doctors say the government is condemning thousands of kidney patients to death because of its refusal to fund more kidney machines.

PFI 'not necessary'

THE GOVERNMENT could have paid directly for new schools and hospitals without breaking its self imposed Tory spending rules. It need not have set up the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) at all, according to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). But it did so because of its commitment to the ideology of privatisation.

Chancellor Gordon Brown has decided that to placate the City public spending should be kept below 40 percent of national income and the government should only borrow for investment, not for current spending. Even within these rules, says the IPPR, "the Treasury fiscal framework is entirely compatible with not having the PFI at all. The initiative is not necessary."

Some fraud

GORDON Brown claims �500 million is lost because of so - called benefit cheats. But the Treasury receives �2 billion in unclaimed social security payments.

Winter kills

THE WINTER death toll of old people is the highest for 20 years. Over 5,000 more old people died in Britain this winter than in the same period a year ago.

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Sat 18 Mar 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1688
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